Energy alerts officially end

Tina Bridenstine
The Shawnee News-Star

OG&E reached out to customers Sunday afternoon to let them know all energy emergency alerts were at an end, and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) had returned to normal operations.

“We thank our customers for doing their part to reduce electricity and natural gas use during a difficult situation impacting millions across the central United States,” said David Kimmel, OG&E spokesperson. “These voluntary conservation efforts helped to minimize the impact of these historic winter weather conditions.”

During the winter event, the SPP initiated controlled service interruptions, or rolling blackouts, between 12:10 and 2 p.m. Feb. 15 and between 6:15 and 10:07 a.. Feb. 16. The SPP asked its members, including OG&E and Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., to have customers conserve power throughout the week, as several times the emergency alert level was raised to 2, the level just before rolling blackouts are necessary.

According to OG&E, customers who did experience weather-related outages had power restored within the day, and there were no wide-spread outage events.

At this time, the company said, it is too early to estimate how higher use and higher fuel costs will affect utility bills, but that it will work with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) to determine a path forward.

“We appreciate Governor Stitt’s early action to seek energy bill assistance from the federal government for Oklahomans,” Kimmel said. “Rest assured, we are committed to keeping customers informed and minimizing bill impact.”